6-foot-long built-in cable â¢ Ultra-thin design
Leather top is prone to scratching â¢ Need to supply the power plug
The Peel Super Thin Wireless Charger will win you over with its ultra-minimalistic design, but the lack of a wall plug will have you questioning the price.
When Apple introduced wireless charging in its newest phones (the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus), the industry got the jump start it was waiting for.Â
It wasn’t just users who were excited about the new charging technology, but also the accessory makers. Prominent case-maker Peel, for instance, recently announced their entry into the wireless charging market. The charger keeps with the brand’s minimalist design ethos âÂ they’re best known for ridiculously thin phone cases.Â
Along with the slim look, it’s also fast charging. But at $49.99, is this charger worth it? I took a look.
With a thickness of just 7 millimeters, the charger resembles a high-end coaster. Peel opted for a matte leather design overall, with white or black color options.
I’ve been testing out the black color variant, and in a few short weeks, the leather, which is pretty thin, has gotten some wear and tear, showing scratches. If your phone case is sharp or has some residue, it will probably affect the cosmetic look of the charger. And if your case is a large one, it can slow down charging or stop it all together.
Rubber edging along the charger provides some grip to the surface and some height. If you knock lightly into the charger, your phone shouldn’t budge. However, a harder knock will result in it moving and potentially stopping the charger. One night I apparently knocked the charger and woke up with 20% battery life.
The metal bottom looks nice, but it does show fingerprints and is prone to scratching as well.
A pro of some wireless charging pads is a removable cable. That’s not the case with this model, but the cable is super-long: a pre-installed 6-foot cord that ends with a USB-A head. For that $49.99 price point, you need to supply the wall plug (more on that in a bit). The cable’s pretty nice, flat and thin. Peel has paid attention to the design details. Â
Fast charging capable
Being able to quick charge is essential. Peel recognizes this, and their wireless charger outputs at a maximum of 9 volts or 1.2 amps. That means it can support the 7.5-watt iPhone fast-charging standard, and the 10-watt for an Android phone, like the Galaxy S9.Â
However, you need to make sure the plug powering the charger is strong enough. Peel doesnât solve this concern, as no wall plug is included in the box. So, the user is left having to supply the cable. Apple offers a 12W USB plug for $19.00, and Amazon has a Samsung fast charging wall plug for $7.99.
With the purchase of an iPhone, Apple provides a 5-watt charger, which will charge a phone in an average amount of time. (For comparison’s sake, Samsung includes either a 10- or 15-watt plug with their devices.) The 5-watt wall plug will still charge your iPhone in a pinch, just not quickly.Â
At a $49.99 price point, it would be nice for Peel to include an adapter that can reach the wattage needed for fast charging an iPhone or Android device.
No cooling or LED onboard
Phones get hot while charging with a hardwired cable, and the same goes for wireless charging. In fact, wireless charging can make your phone hotter. While some charging pads, like Samsung’s fast charging stand, offer a built-in fan to counteract this, Peel does not.Â
Charging my iPhone X overnight resulted in a hot phone in the morning, and if I removed it in the middle of the night, it resulted in a very hot phone. This might have something to do with the leather top. I also noticed that the bottom of this charger got pretty hot during charging.
While most chargers opt for an LED or two to tell you they’re charging, this one has no such light. That may be an advantage at times. For instance, if you’re using this by your bed, an extra light blinking or changing colors probably isn’t conducive to sleep. Â
On the other hand, there’s no way to know if your phone is charging without looking at the device itself. If your phone is completely dead, there’s no way to check in before it reaches a minimum charge to see if it’s getting juiced up.Â
Does it pay to be super thin?
At $49.99, you’re not paying a premium for the wireless charging pad, but you’re in line with $59.99 7.5-watt Mophie or the $49.99 Belkin 7.5-watt pad (both include a wall plug in the box). What you’re paying for is a Peel-style wireless charger, one that’s super-thin to a point where it can just blend in.
As a wireless charger, it checks the necessary boxes. But there’s no LED light to let you know if it’s working, a wall plug is not included, and in some cases, the 6-foot cord can be annoying.
The minimalist design will appeal to many, and if you have a Peel case, it’s the perfect counterpart. But what’s wrong with a $20 Anker fast charging wireless pad that doesn’t include a wall plug, either?Â
In the end, the choice will be yours, but if don’t mind a little more branding, save yourself some money.Â